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July 09, 2016

Protest group plans march on police headquarters in North Philadelphia

Saturday marks fourth night of protests in city

A group of Philadelphia activists is planning a march Saturday night toward a pair of police headquarters to protest in response to the killings of two black men by police officers.

The Philly Coalition for REAL Justice called the event "Shut It Down: A Weekend of Rage Against Police Terrorism" on its Facebook page.

Protesters are scheduled to meet at Mascher and Cambria Streets in the Fairhill section of the city at 6 p.m. and begin moving toward the 24th and 25th Police Districts at 3901 Whitaker Avenue.

The group claims those police districts have a "long history of brutality in Black and Brown communities."

On Thursday, the group posted an inflammatory message after five police officers were killed and seven more injured by gunshots at a protest in Dallas. The message said, "The revolution has begun.... Folks are gathering here at city hall in solidarity with what's happening in Dallas demanding that when they shoot us we shoot back. #BlackLiberation #BlackGunsMatter."

The Philly Coalition for REAL Justice also marched in protest Friday night from North Philadelphia toward Center City.

SEPTA Transit Police Chief Thomas Nestel III provided updates on that protest via Twitter, praising both the group for remaining peaceful and officers for providing protection:

Numerous demonstrations nationwide have been organized after the killings of Alton Sterling on Tuesday in Louisiana and Philando Castile on Wednesday in Minnesota.

Saturday's march will be the fourth straight night of demonstrations in Philadelphia.

“I have profound respect for the peaceful protestors who marched in Philadelphia last night to demand change, and I have a profound respect for the Philadelphia police officers who stood ready to protect them and who put their lives on the line for this city every day," Mayor Jim Kenney said on Friday. "The only way to achieve the peace we all seek is to listen and to be willing to hear one another.”